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OFCCP: Ask the Experts
OFCCP Ask the Experts
OFFICE OF FEDERAL CONTRACT COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS
Ask the Experts is an online forum where federal contractors and subcontractors are invited to submit questions to industry experts related to OFCCP compliance, affirmative action planning, and equal employment opportunity. Simply register your company on LocalJobNetwork.com to submit a question.
Hello, We are in the process of re-surveying our employees and using the Self Identify form as required. However, because the form is two pages, we are getting forms back with only page one and NOT page two. Most likely because they self identify with not having a disability so no request for an accommodation was made. Is this acceptable to only have page one on file? Or should we go back and require each person submit page two? I ask because the form is voluntary, we can prove that they were given both pages, and that they then choose to only provide page one. Please advise. Thank you!
Answered by Lisa Kaiser from The Kaiser Law Group, PLLC - Oct 25, 2017
You're right, the form is voluntary, but in the event of an audit, it may be difficult to show compliance if many of the forms are incomplete. Where possible, the best practice is to obtain the second page to ensure the company can show evidence of that it is fulfilling its obligations. Good question!
Talent Networks Poster Link Requirements
Asked by Anonymous - Oct 04, 2017
We have 2 Talent Network Portals-one dedicated to general interest and the other for the Contract Community. That said, we recently added the Employee Polygraph Protection Act and Dept of Labor FMLA poster to our General Talent Community, however, those individuals may or may not be considered internet applicants, since they may or may not apply to an actual position within our career site. We do actually include those 2 poster links and the EEO is the Law, Supplement, and Policy Statement in a link at the bottom of the career page. My first question, is should we leave all poster links in the general Talent Network portal, given that many may or may not ever become applicants. My second question is, that I haven't added the Employee Polygraph or the FMLA poster links to the Contractor Talent Network Portal and am concerned that it too would cause some issues, 1) that they are not necessarily applicants at that point and 2) the Co-employment optics of it. Are there best practices on posters within the Talent Network portals? 2) Should I go ahead and remove all poster links in BOTH Talent Network Portals? 3) Do I have all poster links outside of our EEO policy included in BOTH Talent Portals? I haven't seen any other Federal Contractors include these poster links within their Talent Networks/Talent Communities, but wanted to get some guidance on how best I should proceed with this. Again, I want to ensure that I'm in compliance, but at the same time not putting us at risk by confusing the "applicant" component as well as the "contractor" component.
Federal contractors are required to include in “all solicitations or advertisements for employment that all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.” This is more commonly known as the EEO tagline and you can satisfy this requirement by including the tagline in your job postings.
Federal contractors are also required to post the “EEO is the Law” poster and supplement in a prominent place “where it can be readily seen by employees and applicants for employment.” For electronic applications, OFCCP’s FAQs state that: “If the contractor uses an electronic application process, it must post an electronic notice to inform job applicants of their EEO rights. Electronic notices for applicants must be conspicuously stored with, or as part of, the electronic application. In addition, in individual instances, a contractor may have to provide a notice of EEO rights electronically as a form of reasonable accommodation for a disabled employee, even if the employee works at the contractor’s physical location.”
You will need to comply with the above requirements, whether job seekers visiting your talent portal become applicants or not.
The other posters you referenced such as the Employee Polygraph Protection Act and FMLA posters are mandatory notices that employers are required to provide to their employees. You have no obligation to provide these notices to applicants. So, you may want to only make visible to applicants those that you are required to provide to applicants.
As far as the Contractor Talent Network is concerned, I assume you are talking about 1099 independent contractors, where you have no employer-employee relationship. Since they are not going to be employees of your company, your obligation to provide these notices to employees and applicants to your payroll positions, would not apply. In fact, posting these notices might just cause confusion, granting employee rights that they do not have. Just make sure that you have classified these positions correctly as independent contractors.
Staffing agency letter
Asked by Anonymous - Oct 04, 2017
I understand that we have obligations to notify staffing agencies about our federal contractor status, but what does that notification really ask? Are we putting them on alert that they need to send us diverse candidate pools, are we notifying them that they may have obligations as a sub-contractor or are we just satisfying a regulation? I send these letters out annually and don't really see the benefit other than we are meeting our compliance requirement. Can someone please explain the rule.
The purpose behind the rule is to ensure that the staffing agencies are keeping you compliant. As your sub-contractor, they need to be conducting outreach according to the federal contractor regulations. The notice itself is not the most critical issue. As a federal contractor, it is your obligation to ensure that the staffing agency is following the regulations, as though you were conducting the outreach for yourself.
CEO hiring family - posting requirements
Asked by Anonymous - Oct 04, 2017
If the CEO wants to hire their sibling into a non-executive position, are we required to still post the position?
Notification regarding self-identification of disability
Asked by Anonymous - Oct 04, 2017
Is there a specific format or method that a contractor must use when sending a reminder to employees about their right to self-identify between the five year period? During October, our organization celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month through various sponsored activities. We also publish a notice in our employee newsletter as well as on our Intranet reminding employees about their right to confidentially self-identify their disability status at any point during their employment and provide a contact number. The newsletter goes out to all employees. Is this sufficient for meeting our obligations or do we need to do something in addition to this?
The regulations require that “contractors invite applicants to self–identify as IWDs at both the pre–offer and post–offer phases of the application process, using language prescribed by OFCCP. The regulations also require that contractors invite their employees to self–identify as IWDs every five years, using the prescribed language.” Contractors are required to use the OMB form, but there is no prescribed method that contractors should use to invite employees to self-identify every five years. When choosing the method to use, consider the kind of documentation or proof that your method will provide you. Will your records support that each employee received an invitation to self-identify? If you have 100 employees, can you prove that all 100 employees received an invitation? If you had an employee file a disability discrimination claim, and you were not aware the employee had a disability, will you be able to prove that you provided him/her an invitation to self-identify and the employee declined to self-identify?
The concern I have with embedding the self-ID invitation in a newsletter is that, while you can prove that you sent the newsletter to all employees, that does not mean that every employee read the newsletter and therefore became aware of the invitation to self-identify. I would advise a more direct method for the invitation, that leaves no doubt that they received the invitation to self-identify. An email that goes out to all employees, where you can have a record of all employees who received the email, inviting them to self-identify, would provide you better documentation. You may also wish to add this invitation in the notices that HR sends out to employees to sign off on annually. Regardless of your method, make sure your documentation can prove that all of your employees received that invitation.
OMB Self-ID Disability Form Use
Asked by Anonymous - Oct 02, 2017
Hello, I like to know if during the 5 year solicitation to your workforce and also for the 2 1/2 year reminder, is the OMB Self-ID Disability Form used to do so or are you able to create simply a electronic method that asks the same information, but not the physical form itself. In other words, our company had created a simple electronic form that asks the employee to select out of the following options: "Yes, I have a disability (or previously had a disability), "No, I don't have a disability", or "I don't wish to answer". They then must include a digital signature as well as confirm that the information is accurate, by indicating "Yes". The associates were given 2 weeks to complete the survey and believe it might be time stamped. All the information that gets updated in our HRIS without anyone actually physically seeing the information. We don't mention anything about reasonable accommodation on the e-mail communication or on the electronic form itself. That all said, are we fine with keeping the electronic form with possibly adding the reasonable accommodation language in during the 5 years or do we need to use the actual physical OMB form. Additionally, during the 2 1/2 year reminder, could we use our company created electronic form? Please advise. Thank you.
Answered by Lisa Kaiser from The Kaiser Law Group, PLLC - Oct 02, 2017
This is a good question and a popular one. The OFCCP is particular about format with respect to soliciting this information, regardless of the timing of the solicitation. In its FAQs, the OFCCP provides an answer to your question, which reads as follows:
“Yes, contractors may create an electronically fillable version of the form used to invite self–identification provided that form meets certain requirements. The e–form must:
Display the OMB number and expiration date; Contain the text of the form without alteration; Use a sans–serif font, such as Calibri or Arial; and Use at least 11–pitch for font size (with the exception of the footnote and burden statement, which must be at least 10–pitch in size).
Though it may seem that specifying the minimum size and type of font is unnecessary, OFCCP is doing so to ensure the consistency of appearance, ease of reading, and the general accessibility of the form. By using the OMB number and date, job applicants and employees know that the form is an officially approved government form.”
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